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Seznam, the most popular search engine in the Czech Republic, has announced that it is taking a 10% stake for an undisclosed amount in Prague-based seed accelerator StartupYard. In completing this deal, Seznam joins Ondrej Bartos from Credo Ventures, Petr Ocasek, Michal Illich, and Robin Raszka as investors in the accelerator.
This is not Seznam’s first involvement with StartupYard, but is merely the next logical step in the partnership that they’ve developed. Nikola Rafaj from StartYard says that Seznam mentored teams during last year’s program and was actually one of the most popular mentors to have participated in the program. In particular, the company helped the teams with service design, user testing, and the online launch of their products. In commenting on this deal, the CEO of Seznam, Pavel Zima, said that they begin assisting the teams during last year’s program, but have now decided to increase their involvement with the accelerator by becoming an investor.
According to Rafaj, the Czech Republic only really produces tens of investments annually in companies operating on the Czech internet. StartupYard began in 2011 in an effort to increase entrepreneurship and investment in Czech Republics. Thus far, the accelerator has produced 17 startups from 2 classes. The most recent application period closed on January 11th and 7 new teams will be beginning the next run of the program in March. We’re told that successful teams will receive $2,500 (€1,600) worth of advertising to promote their product or service on the Seznam.cz Sklik system.
Back when we wrote about StartupYard in December, they told us that, of the 17 graduates, 8 had received funding and 1 ended up being acquired. Pizzatime became Damejidlo after being acquired by the Slevomat Group and Proactify, SimpleTest.IO, Yeago, Tabfoundry, Spectu, and a few others received undisclosed funding.
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